Fenwick & West partner and antitrust practice co-chair Mark Ostrau was quoted by Marketplace in an article on the proposed $48.5 billion merger between AT&T and DirecTV, which cannot proceed without approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
Ostrau told Marketplace that television production companies may oppose the merger on anti-competitive grounds because both AT&T and DirecTV are distributors of cable TV programs—much like Comcast and Time-Warner, which are also seeking approval for their proposed $45 billion merger.
“They (the cable companies) really do compete both for content and for advertising,” Ostrau said. “If you’re a content provider, you would be very nervous about too much concentration.”
Combining DirecTV’s satellite subscribers with AT&T’s television service customers would give the merged company a 25 percent share of the U.S. market, according to Marketplace, while a combined Comcast and Time-Warner would have an even greater market share.
The full article is available through the Marketplace website.